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Moon cakes - where are you buying yours this year?

  • l

Last year, I did a moon cake taste testing. Was thinking about trying some new local bakeries or brands from the super markets. Any suggestions?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8692...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8723...

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  1. Either at Apollo Bakery or at Mr Tu's, boith in Flushing. Their mooncakes are somewhat different from the stock Cantonese variety: they have a lovely Hokkien twist as the owner is Taiwanese. For a more standard Cantonese rendition,I would check out Carnation on Kissena Blvd

    EDIT:
    Sorry, I just realized that all my recommendations are in Queens and that I am simply not that familiar with bakeries in Chinatown. But there is no way for me to delete my post.

    1 Reply
    1. re: diprey11

      haha its ok, im dont usually like most of the bakeries in flushing that much, but i haven't had the hokkien kind of mooncakes in a while, so maybe ill trek out

    2. I'm not big on traditional mooncakes (not a fan of a big old salted yolk and not a fan of the stickiness of the lotus seed filling), so I kind of just go through the motions for the sake of the occasion.

      Went with the cheapest tin at one of the Chinatown supermarkets. Don't remember the name of the market, but it does cooked foods ($2.75 for roast pork over rice), bakery, and deli as well and has two entrances.

      The brand is called "empire" and the selection is called "incomparable". I haven't tasted it yet, but it seemed really inexpensive to me. $14 for 4 mooncakes, two traditional (lotus paste/one yolk) and two red bean paste/one yolk, individually packaged and all in a tin.

      1. If you enjoy or like 綠豆椪 then you should give Lung Moon a try. I am told they will make 綠豆椪 upon special request/order.

        11 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          interesting, thanks for the tip

          they are known for their mooncakes in the local chinatown community

          1. re: Lau

            Truth be told, L, the best mooncakes are really to be found in Flushing.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              i should do a better job of looking for them out there

              that said i actually think the bakeries in manhattan are generally better than flushing

              1. re: Lau

                I think it depends on what you are looking for.

                Manhattan has bakeries that tend to be old-school Canto-style.

                Flushing has more Taiwanese and nouveau HK-type bakeries.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  thats true, you do have taiwanese bakeries in flushing whereas you have none in the city. I guess i'm comparing cantonese to cantonese (i find the cantonese bakeries in flushing somewhat underwhelming even the ones like sun mary which people rave about). any specific ones you've found are good?

                  i do like Yeh's bakery, which is taiwanese
                  https://www.lauhound.com/2013/04/yehs...

                  1. re: Lau

                    Apollo is good for cakes.

                    New Flushing is obviously famous for its Macau egg tarts but I think their egg salad buns are pretty darn good.

                    1. re: Lau

                      Iris cafe opened a location on St Marks, its more of a modern taiwanese bakery.

                      1. re: Shirang

                        oh yah? hmm any good?

                        i love modern bakeries in taiwan, they're so good

          2. Walked by the dried seafood shop, where they sold dried seahorse, dried scallops etc, they were also selling Wing Wah 榮華 mooncake. At least the box said so, not sure if it is the real Wing Wah 榮華, since I have not checked carefully.

            When it comes to mooncake, though I am not a fan due to the fatty factors, I think the best one from Hongkong were Wing Wah 榮華 or Saint Honore 聖安娜. I like the lotus past or green bean past or green tea paste ones. you may find either in Chinatown. Just don't think they are the real ones.

            There are some local made moon cakes. Surprised to find some 五仁月饼,literally five nuts mooncakes, originally from northern Canton province. I found it in the Wing Wah bakery on Grand between Bowery and Elizabeth.

            1. BTW anyone has seen "ice skin" mooncake in Manhattan? I am craving for it :(
              http://www.sthonore.com/ct/ice_moonca...

              12 Replies
              1. re: nomadmanhattan

                ive heard they are available here, but ive yet to see them anywhere

                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                  Do you mean specifically from st honore?
                  At the supermarket where I bought my cheap cheap mooncakes I could've sworn I saw some that had ice skin, though not a name brand.

                  1. re: fooder

                    @ fooder Hmm, I guess as long as they make it right, i don't really care if they are exactly the brand I prefer. Technically, they are just sticky rice skin (sticky rice powder, so a bit chewier than regular and very thin). Where did you see them?

                    Or, the easy way, I would just ask my mom send me one from HK, though the price shipping here might just expensive as the mooncakes :/

                    @Lau I am going to do a ice skin moon cake hunt. Will report later.

                  2. re: nomadmanhattan

                    Just curious.

                    Do you buy those snowskin or ice skin mooncakes for looks or taste?

                    Cuz if it's the latter, I'd much rather just have a traditional mung bean filled mochi.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      For the taste and the look. I think it is quite different from mochi.

                      Background story about ice skin or snowy mooncake were first introduced by HK Tai Pan Bakery in 1989 (not the same one in Chinatown, which is a knock off). And they have expanding the lines of flavor over the years, from traditional lotus seed to nowadeays Hazelnut and Coffee Bean Paste.
                      http://www.taipan.com.hk/e/product/pr...

                      While you may think the mooncake skin is the same material as mochi, the texture is not exact the same inside and out. the snowy mooncake skin is very thin, while mochi is thicker. The stuffing of a mooncake are more complicated than regular mochi and hence and supposedly more expensive. Last but not least, it is a chinese tradition. I cannot just eat a piece of mochi and psych myself to believe I am eating snowy mooncake lol.

                      1. re: nomadmanhattan

                        Yes, I know. I am quite familiar with snowskin mooncakes, and to me they taste like stale mochi that's been left unwrapped in the fridge for a day or two.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Well maybe snowy moon cake just not your thing then.

                          I am not huge fan of any moon cakes, strictly speaking. But once in a year, I would wish a bite of the Tai Pan snowy mooncake or even better, the Haagen dazs dark chocolate ice cream mooncake :/

                          I am feeling nostalgic.

                          1. re: nomadmanhattan

                            Honestly my favorite mooncake is Haagen Dazs.
                            But then again I also drink milk while eating my mooncake. I think it tempers the sweetness of the paste, highlights the saltiness of the yolk, and the creamy finish makes the sticky texture better for me.

                            1. re: fooder

                              That brought up my memories. I, sort of, washing it down with green tea. It shall help digestion and clean the palate.

                            2. re: nomadmanhattan

                              I, too, do not like mooncakes. And I usually help my mom make them nearly every year during the weekend before 中秋節.

                              I don't even bother with store-bought ones. Unless they're homemade (by me or others) fuggettaboutit.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                fooder - ive always meant to try those, thanks for reminding me

                                nomadmanhattan / ipsedixit - i think mooncake have to be one of the most divisive food for chinese people, people tend to love or hate them. i love them, but i have this tendency to like old people desserts (half the rest of my family hates them)

                      2. re: nomadmanhattan

                        I've only seen snowskin mooncakes at Double Crispy, but I don't remember them being very good.

                      3. I was never a fan of mooncake..it was chalky..dry..too heavy...until I tasted the one my Tawainese coworker brought from Teipei. She said it is from the most famous mooncake place in Taiwan and indeed it was very very good.
                        I will give some of these places a try.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Monica

                          chalky and dry are not the words that would describe any decent mooncake

                          1. re: Lau

                            I think it depends. Canto style mooncakes certainly are not dry or chalky.

                            But if one never had a 綠豆椪, I can certainly see a person describing the texture as a bit chalky.

                            1. re: Lau

                              Agree. This just applies to the mooncake I have had in HK - the skin should be thin, regardless traditional ones or snowy ones. And should smelled like honey since the traditional mooncake skin are coated with syrup. The filings, supposed to be very smooth and aromatic. That is a major factor to judge the quality of a mooncake.

                              1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                ipsedixit - fair point, i guess i always refer to cantonese style mooncakes since that what i normally eat and grew up eating

                          2. This might be slightly off this topic and should start a new thread but I ask here any way: other than mooncake, what else you eat on Mid-autumn festival?

                            Back home at the reunion dinner, we would have steamed crabs, snails in black bean sauce and taro. These are strictly Cantonese traditions. Different areas have different ones.

                            The reason I asked is it turns out I might need to host a mid-autumn festival for couple of my coworkers (non-Asian). Anyone know where I can actually book a dinner that includes these stuffs?

                            Sorry for hijacking the OP again.

                            47 Replies
                            1. re: nomadmanhattan

                              hmm you gotta ask older relatives, i know there is other stuff, but i cant remember what it is anymore

                              im also not sure steamed crabs and snails in black bean sauce is necessarily a cantonese tradition per se. i never ate any of that at mid autumn when i was a kid. i feel like families sometimes make their own traditions like we always ate cantonese style peking duck at chinese new years and while it was our family's tradition i know it wasn't a cantonese tradition (i thought it was like one of the best things in the world when i was a kid and was always super excited when chinese new years would come around)

                              1. re: Lau

                                The reason we had crab and snails was that they were in season. But I guess you are right that not necessarily for all family.

                                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                  be curious to see what you find out. my family is pretty small and all my relatives who would really know all that sort of stuff passed away

                              2. re: nomadmanhattan

                                Stir-fried pumpkin

                                Shrimp and pumpkin dumplings (or sticky rice with jujubes, chestnuts, Chinese barley, etc..

                                Taro stuffed duck

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  taro stuffed duck...that sounds interesting, not sure ive ever had that

                                  what sort of chinese are you ipsedixit?

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    My parents are from the North (primarily Beijing).

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        It's how I learned to make dumplings, baos hand-pulled noodles, Chinese pancakes and flatbreads etc. probably before I knew how to ride a bike (ok, kidding, but you get the idea).

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          ahh yah all very northern type cuisine

                                          i wish they had forced me to make stuff when i was a kid, my grandparents on my dad's side made unbelievable cantonese food, but never bothered to teach anyone else how to cook (hence all the amazing food i grew up with died with my grandparents unfortunately)

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    That sounds yummy! I recalled we had taro and goose in claypot 芋头焖鹅煲. one point. It was perfect for the weather.

                                    1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                      ive had taro and duck casseroles, but i dont think ive ever had a duck stuffed with taro...id love to try that, i like most things with taro

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        Yeah, nothing quite like a simple steamed taro. Deep-fried taro is better than most french fries.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Even better when it soaked in the sauce that mixed in 柱候酱 (sorry I don't know how to translate this :/ sort of fermented soybean paste?) and goose juice.hmmm

                                            1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                              Interesting. I really just like taro plain, steamed. It's just so naturally sweet and creamy as is.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I like it plain too, my mom sometimes just boiled them with a pinch of salt.

                                                The ones with goose while it is still soft and creamy, it tastes meaty and savory. Better goes with rice wine.Actually there is wine in the sauce too.

                                                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                  Taro is one of those amazing foods that (for me) tastes equally appealing either sweet or savory, or both in the same application.

                                                  It is, in my opinion, one of the true culinary delights, and one that is surprisingly underappreciated by Western cuisines.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    There are many bubble tea places that have taro (powder) flavor for their teas. However, that could very well be ube and not taro. I tend to associate ube with sweet (due to Dairy Farm ube ice cream) and taro with savory (fried taro dim sum).

                                                    1. re: fooder

                                                      well i think there is both for sure, the teochew commonly eat a traditional dessert they call orh nee (yu ni = mashed taro), which is mashed sweet taro (its really good although terrible for u)
                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oeuia-...

                                                      i've also had ba bao fan in china except instead of using sticky rice they used a yam paste (thought it was pretty good

                                                      )

                                                      definitely used for dessert as well

                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                        I found those yu ni stuffed pastry in Chinatown. It is round shape and usually in purple color. Old school bakery like Lung Moon shall has it.

                                                        In HK and most Canton areas, taro is also used in porridge with unshelled snails (sorry it may sound weird to the less adventurous). It is very creamy wit subtle sweetness from the taro and nuttiness from the snails.I had it once in Congee Bowery.But they did not do it right - the taro was not cooked through :( Never tried again.

                                                        1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                          yah ive had lots of yu ni stuffed desserts before, i like them almost as much as i love red bean stuffed desserts (i was obsessed with red bean when i was a kid). i love steamed bao with taro in the middle

                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                            I'm still obsessed with red bean! However, I'm more into the smooth pastes than the more coarse whole bean preparations.

                                                            Do you like "red bean pies"? They're like mooncakes except they're sold year round and they're cut from a large rectangular loaf into slices. I'm sure you've seen them in C-town. I love those. I used to eat one every day, which is probably so bad for you.

                                                            1. re: Humbucker

                                                              ah see i like the coarse whole bean prep, i like the textural contrast

                                                              yah ill eat those red bean pies every once in a while and yes they're horrible for u haha

                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                I like all those sweet pastries. I also love the red bean soup dessert in Cantonese restaurants. I don't know the Chinese name for it.

                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                  its called tang shui, there are actually many varieties of it, but you usually only see the red bean version here.

                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                    I like the sweet mung bean version. Especially cold, on a hot summer day. Mom says it has a "cooling" effect on the body.

                                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                                      i like the black sesame one, hei zhi ma hu, it is thicker,heartier.

                                                                  2. re: Lau

                                                                    Do you have any suggestions where to get red bean pies in Chinatown? I had one from Lucky King bakery today that was just meh, but it was the only place I could find that even had them. Maybe it was just because I went late on a Sunday that they were so hard to find.

                                                                    1. re: Humbucker

                                                                      when u say red bean pies what are you referring to exactly? there are alot of red bean filled pastries

                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                        Oh sorry, thought you knew. I'm thinking of this long loaf that is usually a few inches wide that is very similar to mooncake in crust and filling except it's rectangular and sliced into individual servings.

                                                                        It looks kind of like this pastry but thicker and the crust and filling are more like a mooncake:

                                                                        http://omgnom.com/nom/c949df6

                                                                        1. re: Humbucker

                                                                          ohhhh yah ok, hmm sorry im not going to be much help as i normally don't get those so i dont have a specific rec for them. although i will say that you have a wide range of choices as i see it alot especially at the more old school bakeries

                                                                          if u find a good one please let us know!

                                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                                            Minamoto Kitchoan @Madison and 53rd has an excellent rendition, although with a--naturally--Japanese twist.

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      For you and all the taro lovers out there, have you had poi? UES Mayor may kill me, but I cannot appreciate poi even though I love taro.

                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                        ehh its whatever, ive had it before. ill eat it if u put it in front of me, but id never order it

                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                            @Lau

                                                            I feel the same way about natto. It's so polarizing, but I'm indifferent.

                                                            1. re: Humbucker

                                                              totally, i actually love natto now, but when i was a kid i totally hated it. in fact i totally hated it until maybe about ~5 years ago when i was eating at this one old school japanese breakfast joint in Gardena (LA) with my grandma and it came with this set meal i got and i thought it was awesome with some hot rice. Now my grandma and me are the only people left on my mom's side of the family who still likes it

                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                Pardon my grossness, but due to the consistency of natto, i always referred to it as snatto

                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                  i understand why people hate it given i hated it at one point

                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                    So today I stopped by EB Bakery. I asked for Mooncake and they looked at me like I had 2 heads and said they don't have that. I recall getting them around Chinese New Years, but with this post I assumed it is now the season for some reason.
                                                                    Anyway, I almost got red bean cake, I wanted lotus cake but they didn't have any. So I ended up getting winter melon cake.
                                                                    I thought it would be sweet and somewhat gooey inside but it was pretty much dry and not sweet, with some small chunks of winter melon and morsels of coconut. The tray it came from was full, so either it was fresh or been there awhile. It tasted a little bit "off" so maybe it was the latter.
                                                                    The cone shaped paper wrapped sponge cake was very good.
                                                                    The cha siu bao I thought would be bad because it was late in the day, but it was very fresh and delicious. It is now my favorite cha siu boa in Chinatown.

                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                        Used to be called Golden Carriage, at 162 East Broadway on corner of Essex. Next door to I think it's called Happy Star Bakery, where they make the rice noodle dishes for $1.50.

                                                                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                          ah yah i know which place that is, they used to make a really good bo lo bao

                                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                                            So who makes the best pineapple bun now?

                                                          2. re: Miss Needle

                                                            I love taro, generally, but poi tastes like dish soap to me.

                                              2. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                I don't think there are any specific dishes which the Chinese (at least, those of us here in Singapore) attach to a family dinner to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival - though, of course, the ubiquitous mooncakes would be served with Chinese tea after-dinner. Anyway, I'd posted about the dishes my family had for dinner to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival last night (a mish-mash of Nyonya/Straits Chinese and Fujianese dishes) on this thread:
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915379

                                              3. Think you guys might wanna check this out, Fuchow moon cakes http://www.eatingintranslation.com/20...

                                                Going there tomorrow. Stay tune!

                                                33 Replies
                                                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                  i see these everywhere in chinatown (at fujian vendors) all the time, all year round (while you can find mooncakes all year round they are a seasonal thing really and you see alot more of them right now). I'm wondering if its a bad translation? they are similar to mooncakes, but they just translated them into english like that (i.e. taiwanese hamburger or something like that). i'm quite curious, i want to go ask the vendor myself now

                                                  btw outside of guangdong (cantonese), they eat savory mooncakes with meat in them, my friend from shanghai was asking me if id ever had the ones with pork in them (i gave her a completely blank stare)

                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                    preferring savory over sweet, i love the ones with pork and double yolks the best - i'm guessing you haven't seen any in ny, huh? ham's not bad either.

                                                    1. re: mookleknuck

                                                      someone told me that you can find them in flushing, but def havent seen them in the city

                                                      1. re: mookleknuck

                                                        Then you should try the Fuzhou mooncakes sold at 38 Ludlow street (Jin Jiang bakery). The mooncake, which should be called moon pie, is individual pizza size. I bought one and it fed 8 ppl :)

                                                        $7 each. The skin is very thin and crisp; stuffing includes peanuts, sugars, almonds, winter melon paste and small chunk of pork fat. It is savory and not as sweet as lotus seed versions. Give it a try.

                                                        1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                          thanks for this lead, nomadmanhattan. could you tell me what proportion of the filling is pork and how many yolks this bakery makes them with? did you get the sichuan mooncakes from the same bakery? i'd love to try the ones with ham, too.

                                                          1. re: mookleknuck

                                                            Hey Mookleknuck,

                                                            The pork is less than 5% of the pie since it is only used as a condiment more than filling to itself. No yolk in this version.

                                                            They are Fukienese. So they don't make Sichuan mooncakes. As a matter of fact, I don't think I have seen any Sichuan mooncakes in the states. I know you can order online tho :/

                                                            1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                              thanks for the clarification, nomadmanhattan. i didn't think that a fujian bakery would have sichuan mooncakes and i haven't seen any sichuan mooncakes in the states, either! (i don't love mooncakes enough to order them online.) i'll keep casually looking every year around this time for a delicious savory mooncake...

                                                              1. re: mookleknuck

                                                                It is too late now. But I would not mind hosting a mooncake tasting at my place next year :)

                                                                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                                  Great! Happy midautumn festival, everyone.

                                                      2. re: Lau

                                                        Yeah I had that once or twice. The mooncakes from Szechuan (yes they have mooncakes too!) are stuffed with Jin Hua Ham (金华 火腿). Actually not bad, but I am not a regular meat-eater lol. So can't speak much about it.

                                                        .

                                                        1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                          well ive had cantonese ones with small pieces of ham in it before (they're still sweet), but the way my friend made it sound these were actually savory ones (shanghainese) that weren't really sweet at all

                                                          actually last year, these ones from koi palace had pieces of jin hua ham in it: https://www.lauhound.com/2012/10/mid-...

                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                            I think the ones your friend mentioned might be similar to the ham mooncakes I have tried. The skin is crispy thin and crumbly, the filling is usually ham and honey. Very savory and actually not as heavy as Cantonese ones. It originates from Kunming, Yunnan Province (昆明“合香楼) because that is where the Xuan Wu ham (云南宣威火腿) from. In shanghai areas, the mostly used Jin Hua ham since that is local to them.

                                                            Off the topic. I prefer the Xuan Wu ham from Yunnan, which has a unique smoky flavor to it. They are usually stir fried with rice cake, snow peas or added to noodle soup. Just like the chaxiu on top of the ramen noodle. I got the chances to try while I was growing up since my step father was from Yunnan.

                                                            1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                              ah interesting, ive never had the type she was talking about, so i cant really say how they are

                                                              id like to go to yunnan one day to try the food there, im not sure ive actually ever met someone from there

                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                Yeah, they don't move around as much as people, say from Szechuan or Guangzhou.

                                                                But you might be lucky to find some Xuan Wu ham from Lotus Blue, which I considered one of the better Yunnan restaurant here in NYC. I noticed one item on the menu Yunnan Ham Stir-Fried with Bamboo Sprouts.

                                                                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                                  yah its pretty rare to find them

                                                                  well blue lotus only has two competitors haha, so its got a 33% chance of being the best! plus yunnan kitchen is fusion and yun nan flavor kitchen is just a noodle shop haha

                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                    very solid analysis :) Well, when it comes to Chinese cuisine in NYC, in some cases, "best" really means less worse :/

                                                                    1. re: nomadmanhattan

                                                                      haha hopefully that changes one day

                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                        so (trying to decide where to go after this reading 92 mooncake ideas), if i want the lotus-seedy/coconut-y variety, my best call is to go to one of the Malaysian restaurants and ask for some to go?...

                                                                        1. re: Simon

                                                                          The FayDa bakery sources their moon cakes from Malaysia. You might want to ask them but not tonight, unless you are a native Chinese speaker (cultural traits assumed): tonight they will happily sell you a devil, as fast as you ask.

                                                                          So it all depends where you are located.

                                                                          1. re: diprey11

                                                                            FayDa would be easy for me to get to...but anywhere in Lower Manhattan is fine...are Fay Da's of the lotus/nutty variety?...

                                                                            1. re: Simon

                                                                              the malaysian restaurants carry the foh san brand, get the pandan flavored one (its green inside), here's what they look like

                                                                              https://www.lauhound.com/2011/09/foh-...

                                                                              im not sure if the manhattan malaysian restaurants are carrying or not (i used to buy them at overseas before they closed), but the flushing malaysian restaurants on 40th road definitely carry it (buy some kaya while you're at it)

                                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                                thanks...i'll prob check at the Manhattan Chinatown restaurants (e.g. New Malaysia) later today...

                                                                                1. re: Simon

                                                                                  yah check new malaysia, sanur, nonya etc...ill bet one of them are selling them

                                                                                  that fo san brand is good (its a famous dim sum and bakery in ipoh, malaysia)

                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                    i stopped first at Fay Da Bakery, on Mott, as i was passing it, but they were sold out...

                                                                                    Then i hit New Malaysia: the (extremely nice) manager first told me he thought they were sold out and directed me to the supermarket on Elizabeth btw Canal and Hester -- but when i was halfway down the arcade, he chased me down and said they'd found a last tin of the snowskin variety: this was very sweet of him, but it wasn't the kind i wanted...

                                                                                    So i went to the supermarket, and sure enough, mooncakes galore, w/ free samples being cheerfully passed out, and they were happy to sell me a single white-lotus paste mooncake: success -- not Foh San, but it looks promising...will try it w/ my born-in-Guangzhou friend tomorrow and report back...

                                                                                    1. re: Simon

                                                                                      id call around the malaysian restaurants and ask if they have foh san. the foh san brand is alot better than other mooncakes ive had in NY

                                                        2. re: Lau

                                                          Definitely a bad translation. I was born and raised in Fujian so I know these things pretty well. In Chinese they are called 福州礼饼 which translates to Fuzhou Gift Cake. You basically eat these at weddings or banquets or other "joyous occasions", and they are the "gift" from the host to you. Can't really buy these in stores in China, gotta have them ordered in bulk. Here in New York..it's a different story. In America, you eat them whenever, wherever, since they kinda lost their meaning.

                                                          1. re: divinebaboon

                                                            ah thanks...i figured it was something like that

                                                            btw you have any recs for fuzhou food (not sure where you are from in fujian province)? i know more about southern fujian food (minnan) from taiwan / singapore / malaysia, but i still really dont know that much about fuzhou food and its definitely different than minnan food

                                                            1. re: Lau

                                                              >you have any recs for fuzhou food?

                                                              I'll second this question: I'm not so familiar with the cuisine, but it's all over eastern Chinatown/LES and we don't hear much about it here.

                                                              Last direct experience I had was a few months ago, sharing a takeout soup from A San Fuzhou, 7 Eldridge. Great stuff: lots of seafood, a touch of heat and sourness, light and fresh-tasting.

                                                              Anyone been here or to other nearby Fujianese places?

                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                Off-topic here, just sharing a thread I had on Foochow cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838131

                                                                Sitiawan is an almost exclusively Foochow town in Perak state, Malaysia, about 150 miles (3 hours' drive) north of Kuala Lumpur. I'm planning a food trip there next weekend. Some other write-ups by an Ipoh-based food blogger on the food scene in Sitiawan:

                                                                http://www.j2kfm.com/sitiawan-revisited/

                                                                http://www.j2kfm.com/sitiawan-food-hunt/

                                                                http://www.j2kfm.com/motormouth-food-...

                                                                There are a few other towns in Malaysia which are settled by the Foochow folks: Yong Peng in the southern state of Johore (near Singapore) and Sibu in Sarawak state (on Borneo). The Foochow are well-known for the meat-filled "kong piah", meat-filled pastry biscuits baked in tandoor-like ovens, "kampua" noodles and chicken cooked in Foochow red wine.

                                                                1. re: klyeoh

                                                                  yes the fuzhou fishballs are very prevalent in NY chinatown. NY chinatown is pretty much the only chinatown in North America that has a substantial fuzhou population. They have taken over all of the eastern part of chinatown and in general the cantonese are slowly moving out and the fuzhou people are taking over.

                                                                  Most of the fuzhou places in NY chinatown are xiao chi type places and mainly serve fishballs, ban mian (a type of sesame noodle dish), yan wan / bian rou (basically a very delicate wonton noodle soup) and a bunch of noodle soups. I'm fairly well versed in those now. However, there are bigger family style restaurants here im much less familiar with the food and those im more interested in. The food at these seems quite a bit different than that traditional hokkien stuff you see in southeast asia or taiwan. Most of them don't have english menus and i can only read maybe 50-60% of the menus (and it takes me a long ass time), so im very curious to try more of those places

                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                    Fuzhou food remains an enigma, even for many of us Fujianese folks. I have Foochow friends (also an ex-boss who's Foochow) and their dialect is practically unintelligible to us. I've always wondered how it would be like to dine out in Fuzhou - no plans to visit that city, as most Hokkien/Hoklo people in Singapore and Malaysia are more likely to visit kinsfolk in Xiamen (southern Fujian) and Taiwan.

                                                                    I like Foochow noodles - more "Italian pasta-like" and requires longer cooking time than the almost-ready-to-eat Hokkien noodles, or Cantonese noodles which oftentimes only need a quick blanch.

                                                                    1. re: klyeoh

                                                                      i cant make a single word they say in their own dialect and it sounds different than hokkien. i always distinguish between fuzhou people and fujian / hokkien people (minnan people from xiamen / quanzhou etc) as they seem to be quite a bit different

                                                                      i would like to know more about the cuisine as im wondering if im missing out on some good food in NY simply i dont know what to order really. i have talked to a guy who spent quite a bit of time there as he constantly had to go there for business for material amounts of time and they would take him out to local food alot. He said that the seafood there is excellent and that the cuisine was very seafood heavy relying on very fresh seafood. however, the problem here is that the fuzhou people here are very poor, so the seafood ive had in their restaurants has generally been pretty poor quality which would defeat what that guy told me in terms of them having excellent fresh seafood

                                                        3. Moon cakes are soooo yummy, I've never had a good one that wasn't from Asia or homemade though. There just aren't any great Chinese bakeries in NYC. (I'd really love a Chinese version of Minamoto Kitchoan.)

                                                          Nobody ever seems to want their moon cakes so I wind up with tins and tins, not that I'm complaining.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                            If you have any surplus, I'll take em off your hands.

                                                            You shouldn't eat too much of them yourself, they're bad for you, you know...

                                                            I'm just looking out for your health.

                                                            1. re: Humbucker

                                                              Nom nom nom, already confirmed with my mom, homemade moon cakes tomorrow, the flaky white ones, made with kidney lard and lotus seed paste.

                                                          2. Someone gave me a box of mooncakes( had 4 inside)..my daughter was eager to try but after a bite, she spat it out.
                                                            I took a bite and I also spat it right out..lol, it was durian flavored moon cake but even if it was a plain one, i think we both would have spat it out. It just had horrible texture...so thick, heavy...yuk.